Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.
Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Biointerfaces Lab, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology; Musculoskeletal Research Unit, University of Zurich; Werner Lab, ETH Zurich
Project no: GRS-006/16
Amount of funding: CHF 341'500
Duration: 03.2017 - 08.2019
Area of activity: Pilotprojekte, 1998 - 2018
Dr. Markus Rottmar, Group leader
Lab for Biointerfaces; Dept Materials Meet Life
9014 St. Gallen (Schweiz)
- markus.rottmar@empa. ch
Hard-to-heal wounds represent a major medical problem for individual patients and due to the high associated healthcare costs also for society at large. Notably, most patients recovering from wounds develop scars after wound closure. Scars do not only have an aesthetic impact, but depending on their location they can greatly compromise the mobility of a patient if e.g. extended over a joint. Current wound treatment approaches focus mainly on the protection of the wound from a healing-unfriendly environment, mostly neglecting the prevention of scar formation. A scaffold that not only promotes wound healing but at the same time also prevents scar tissue formation could thus have a tremendous impact on current wound treatment procedures.
The aim of the current project is to develop a synthetic and bioactive 3D scaffold based on the FDA-approved material P4HB, addressing two key aspects of wound healing simultaneously, i.e. stimulating correct skin regeneration and prevention of scar formation. P4HB-scaffolds with defined micro- and macrostructure to steer the response of skin cells and tailored properties for drug- release and scaffold degradation rate to parallel tissue regeneration will be developed. In order to evaluate the feasibility of the envisioned approach and to optimise the scaffold properties, the degradation velocity and drug release pattern will be studied; the ability to support cell/tissue ingrowth into the scaffold and bioactivity of the foam scaffolds to prevent the formation of contractile skin cells, key players in scarring, will be investigated. Ultimately, the functionality of the foam to support tissue regeneration and to prevent scar formation in vivo will be verified in excisional wounds in rats.
What is special about the project?
The vision of this project is to develop a novel synthetic and bioactive scaffold that not only promotes wound healing but also prevents scar tissue formation; a medical need that, despite affecting millions of patients each year, has not been addressed sufficiently to date. By using the FDA approved P4HB as scaffold material, faster translation into clinics can be expected. In case of success an impulse towards a complete new class of wound treatment products could be given that may not only be used for hard-to-heal wounds, but also for acute wounds or wounds resulting from planned surgeries.
In the course of this project, we have successfully developed P4HB 3D scaffolds with pore sizes in the range of interest and porosities higher than 95% with high interconnectivity. Prepared P4HB materials with different molecular weights allowed attachment of skin cells (i.e. fibroblasts) and were found to be cytocompatible. Two natural drugs that counteract the formation of contractile skin cells have been identified and concentration ranges where these drugs are active but not cytotoxic could be defined. Interestingly, the two drugs showed synergistic effects, which suggests that they affect skin cells via different mechanisms. Drug release studies showed successful incorporation into the P4HB materials and a slow, but continuous release over a period of 4 weeks. In the next steps, release kinetics will be controlled by modifying the P4HB material and ultimately, the most promising scaffolds will be evaluated in a small animal model.
Rottmar M., et al. «In vitro investigations of a novel wound dressing concept based on biodegradable polyurethane», Sci Tech Adv Mater, 16(3): 034606.
None so far
Persons involved in the project
Dr. Markus Rottmar
, project manager, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and TechnologyDr. Katharina Maniura
, project partner, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology Dr. Qun Ren
, project partner, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and TechnologyDr. María P. Fernández-Ronco
, project partner, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology Dr. Eike Müller
, PostDoc, Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and TechnologyProf. Dr. Brigitte v. Rechenberg
, project partner, Musculoskeletal Research Unit, University of Zurich Prof. Dr. Sabine Werner
, advisor, ETH Zurich
Last update to this project presentation 03.07.2019